When Google first revealed there’d be a Pixel 4a 5G, many expected the device to simply be a Pixel 4a with 5G tacked on. We’ve now seen the device and that’s far from true. So, which device should you buy when it comes to Pixel 4a 5G vs Pixel 4a? Let’s take a look.
The big launch of the night may be Google Pixel 5 but those looking to save some money would have been keen to see what the new 5G version of Pixel 4a had to offer. Far from a simple 5G version, Pixel 4a 5G offers a ton of spec bumps across the board – bringing it quite closer to Pixel 5 itself.
While Pixel 4a 5G may have got plenty of additions, interested parties who’ve had their eye on a Pixel 4 will likely have the price as a huge consideration – a consideration that Pixel 4a 5G may push to its limits. From the key facts on pricing to the internal specs of both devices, we’re taking you through Pixel 4a vs Pixel 4a 5G.
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1. 5G and a Pixel 5-level processor
The key draws of Pixel 4a 5G are the feature neatly plonked at the end of its name and the processor that’s onboard. As expected, the phone does indeed sport 5G – catching the mid-range phone up to the likes of OnePlus Nord and Moto G 5G Plus.
While 5G was obviously expected and has been delivered, it’s the processor that’s the biggest coup. Despite being part of Google’s sub-flagship “a” range, the 4a 5G actually has the same Snapdragon 765G processor as Pixel 5.
You do get slightly less RAM (6GB) than the new flagship (8GB) but, given the strong performance of the original Pixel 4a, this spec bump offers a more than capable performance for most consumers. Our 4-star review of Pixel 4a did note the occasional stutter in performance, so if you are looking for a stronger multi-tasker then that’s where the new Pixel 4a 5G comes in.
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2. An even better camera
If you’re a fan of the Google Pixel’s camera tech, and why wouldn’t you be, you’ll be delighted to know the Pixel 4a 5G gets an additional camera – matching the dual-camera setup of Pixel 5.
Pixel 4a 5G will consist of a 12-megapixel main sensor and a 16-megapixel wide-angle – a tweak from the secondary telephoto sensor offering of Pixel 4, which we called “pretty boss” in our full review. Pixel’s were rather boss when they consisted of a single camera so there were high expectations for the additional sensor and it delivered. Here’s hoping the wide-angle is a worthy addition.
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3. Battery could be a mixed bag
While Pixel 4a 5G is comfortably a better device than Pixel 4a on much of the spec sheet, we aren’t too sure how the battery will pan out.
Pixel 4a had a rather small 3140mAh battery, which we managed to get a full day of use out of. On the other side, Pixel 4a 5G will have a larger 3885mAh battery – likely afforded by its overall larger footprint.
It is this slightly larger footprint and beefier internals that could mean battery life doesn’t end up being that different here. Pixel 4a 5G sports a 6.2-inch display, up from 5.8-inch on Pixel 4a, as well as 2GB more of RAM and the Snapdragon 765G processor – compared to the lower-powered 730 of Pixel 4a.
There’s also 5G to wrangle with. If you’re a user of 5G we wouldn’t expect battery life to be too different between these two devices. If you aren’t then you’ll probably get an extra hour or so more of screen on time with the new 5G device.
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4. You’ll get a bigger screen
If you’re after a significantly bigger screen, with a device that somewhat amounts to a Pixel 4a XL, then you might be a tad disappointed. As previously mentioned, Pixel 4a 5G does feature a larger 6.2-inch display compared to the 5.8-inch from Pixel 4a.
The small difference likely won’t be enough to swing you if you were hoping for a much more immersive display experience but, if you were on the fence, then it is a noticeably bump in screen release estate.
If the size doesn’t bother you too much, both phones offer similar specced displays elsewhere – with both having 60Hz FHD OLED panels.
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5. The 4G version’s trump card is price
Pixel 4a vs Pixel 4a 5G is an odd matchup, as it’s potentially an easier question to answer than pitting the new 5G phone against Pixel 5.
With Pixel 4a 5G, you are being asked to pay £150 more than the original Pixel 4a and you get plenty on top – including 5G, an extra rear camera and a stronger processor. If you are in need of even two of these new features then the extra £150 will likely be worth your money.
However, Pixel 4a is a strong performer in its own right – with a decent camera, suitable performance and sleek looks. Some fans also may feel slighted that there isn’t simply a slightly pricier Pixel 4a that simply adds 5G – as the actual Pixel 4a 5G is asking for significantly more than competitors like OnePlus and Moto for a 5G mid-ranger.